This Jan. 30, 2017 photo shows Fox News Channel chief news anchor Shepard Smith on The Fox News Deck before his “Shepard Smith Reporting” program, in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Fox News’ Shepard Smith is making headlines with his unprofessional treatment of a French official.
As Notre Dame was burning, the liberal host was on the phone with a Philippe Karsenty, who was there to discuss his reaction to what was happening.
Newsbusters has the transcript.
SHEPARD SMITH: Philippe Karsenty is on the line with us, a French elected official who is in Paris now.
PHILIPPE KARSENTY (French elected official): Hi.
SMITH: Felipe, what have you seen and what do you know?
KARSENTY: Well, I was close to the scene when it happened. I left because we want to let people work around it. Everybody’s really under shock now in France. I would tell you something. Even if nobody died, it’s like a 9/11, a French 9/11. It’s a big shock. This church was there for more than 850 years. Even the Nazis didn’t You need to know that for the past years, we’ve had churches desecrated each and every week all over France. So, of course, you will hear the story of the politically — the political correctness which will tell you it’s probably an accident.
While things started mundanely enough, Karsenty mentioning that it might not have been an accident sent Smith into the stratosphere. He became indigent and defensive in his response.
SMITH: Sir, sir, sir, we’re not going to speculate of the cause of something that we don’t know. If you have observations or you know something, we would love to hear it.
KARSENTY: I’m just telling you something, what we need to be —
SMITH: No, sir. We’re not doing that here. Not now. Not on my watch. Philippe Karsenty, it’s very good of you to be here.
And with that, Smith hung up on the guy.
Regardless of Karsenty’s views, all he was doing was putting the fire into the context of other events that had been taking place recently in France. Namely, the burning of other churches and desecration of religious sites. That’s not speculation, those are things that have been happening.
Vandals have smashed statues, knocked down tabernacles, scattered or destroyed the Eucharist and torn down crosses, sparking fears of a rise in anti-Catholic sentiment in the country.
Last Sunday, the historic Church of St. Sulpice in Paris was set on fire just after midday mass on Sunday, Le Parisien reported, although no one was injured. Police are still investigating the attack, which firefighters have confidently attributed to arson.
The above report is not from a “right-wing” source. It’s from the rabidly liberal Newsweek. If Smith were anything more than a guy who reads a teleprompter, he might be aware of the real issues surrounding Karesenty’s statement.
We can’t even know exactly what Karsenty was going to say next because Smith cut him off immediately. I suspect he was going to qualify his comments, as he was clearly not done with his point yet.
After Smith hung up the call, he then launched into a pointless, self-righteous monologue.
SMITH: We’ve been monitoring very closely fire and police investigators out of Paris. No official of any kind has given us any information about a cause or the origin of the fire. The official report at this moment is they believe, and that’s a quote, “We believe the fire began in an area under construction in the rear of the cathedral.” That is the extent of the official reporting on the cause of this. That said, there have been a number of attacks on Catholic churches in the Paris area. But those two things, we are not connecting at this moment. We have no reporting of any kind to suggest that there was an attack here. None. If that changes, we will change our reporting. But there is no official information. There are no witnesses. There was no one with a description that we know of to say how this fire began. And as a result, we’re not going to talk about things about which we have no knowledge that are of such substance and import. When we have something, we’ll let you know.
Since when do cable news networks not speculate on things? Especially when you invite non-journalist guests on to comment?
Keep in mind that Smith has had no problem speculating on his own show in the past. In 2017, he launched into an insane rant defending Jim Acosta in which he accused Trump campaign officials of being on the phone with the Russians while the DNC was being hacked.
There was of course zero truth to what he was saying, but that didn’t stop him. Now, he wants to hang up on an elected official who was trying to comment on a major disaster happening in his home country? There has to be some level of grace in how you handle a guest, even if they speculate on something you don’t want speculated on. Instead, Smith is more concerned with his own virtue signaling.
Shepard Smith is everything that’s wrong with the hard news side of cable news. It’s full of smug, self-absorbed “anchors” with their own agendas pretending to be objective. I’m not suggesting an anchor can’t challenge a guest. If an anchor disagrees with someone they should discuss that on air within reason (i.e. as long as the guest hasn’t said anything really off the rails), but hanging up on them to preserve a narrative is not the proper course of action. That’s not journalism, it’s activism. At least the opinion shows on these channels are honest about what they are.
I have no idea how this guy keep his job after that outburst. The contract must be air tight.